Makom@Adat Shalom is an invitation to the contemplative side of Judaism. It is an opportunity to bring together members of the Adat Shalom community who are engaged in mindfulness practices, some Jewish, such as meditation and mussar study; and some originating outside of Judaism, such as hatha yoga and silent retreat. It is also an invitation to members who have no exposure to this side of Jewish life but who are interested in exploring these practices. Makom is the Hebrew word for “place” and also one of our Jewish names for “God”: the Place that contains us all, the Place that is filled with compassion, the Place that inspires the pursuit of justice.

This effort in our synagogue community complements our foundational practices of Jewish communal prayer, study, and social justice. Makom@Adat Shalom includes events that have been part of our community for years, such as silent retreats and healing services. It also includes yoga and meditation sessions, which have been offered during high points of the Jewish calendar during the past year. Makom offerings will be expanded in the coming year to include an introduction to the Mikvah, contemplative offerings during Shabbat Breirot, and speakers on relevant topics. If you have had a desire to turn off the noise of daily life and turn to nourishing spiritual fare, these programs might be a step on that path. If you have questions about or suggestions for Makom@Adat Shalom, contact Larry Goldsmith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For many years, Adat Shalom has been a home for Jews drawn to contemplative practices: meditation, chant, silence and yoga. Some have encountered these practices in other faith traditions; others have discovered an interest in these practices within the Jewish community. As the Jewish world embraces these complimentary spiritual pathways, we at Adat Shalom also seek to explore these realms and the opportunities they offer for deeper connection with community, with tradition and with Holy Presence.

Makom @Adat Shalom offers opportunities for contemplative practice, grounded in Jewish text and tradition. Makom is the Hebrew word for place and is also one of our Jewish names for God: the Place that contains us all, the Place that is filled with compassion, the Place that inspires the pursuit of justice. These programs complement our foundational practices of Jewish communal prayer, study and social justice. All are invited to join in these programs that embody our collective search for connection and meaning

Please check the Adat Shalom website, listserve and MaChadash for specific dates and times for all program activities.

Hatha Yoga:
In rhythm with the Jewish calendar, Hatha Yoga will be led by Hazzan Rachel and Sue Dorfman where we will learn and practice basic shapes of hatha yoga, approaching them with an awareness of the Jewish wisdom of the seasons as observed in Jewish mystical tradition. Open to all, beginner and veteran yoga practitioners. Bring a yoga mat - all other props provided.

Opportunities for meditative practice will be offered throughout the year. Meditation will be led by lay leaders will include chanting and silence that will aim to be accessible to beginners and satisfying to experienced meditation practioners

Quiet Retreats:
A Quiet Retreat offers the opportunity for letting go of the hectic pace of life and bringing our kavanah (intention) and attention to connecting with the Divine. During a Quiet Retreat, most of our time is spent within the sanctuary of silence. It is a time to be silent and open to an encounter with G-d, G-dliness and our own tzelem Elohim (being in the image of G-d.)

Adat Shalom's guided communal Quiet Retreats include opening and closing circles, guided entry into and out of silence, and extended times of silent reflection. Different options for your silent reflection will be suggested. The retreats, held at Adat Shalom, are facilitated by congregant Kit Turen, who is experienced in the spiritual gift of quiet and silent retreats. Whether you are new to the practice of silence or regularly enter the sanctuary of silence … you are welcome.

Listening Circles:
Our tradition instructs us to listen. Together at Mt. Sinai, we listened, experienced God and became a community. Join other Adat Shalom members as we deeply listen to one another. This will be a general support group. It will be a nurturing place to share, connect and pray for each other. The Listening Circles will be facilitated by Rabbi Jane Berman.

Jewish Healing Circles:
A Jewish Healing Circle provides a structured time and place of prayer, reflection, meditation and communal connection for us when we are seeking healing, including when we are coping with illness, grief, loss and other traumas. It is a place that invites God to be in relationship with us when we are suffering and hope for healing. It draws upon traditional Jewish liturgy (e.g., niggunim, blessings, psalms, prayers) and liturgically non-traditional texts and activities (e.g. poetry, communal sharing, and consciousness of the breath and of the body.) Through a Jewish healing circle, one may derive spiritual strength from Jewish liturgy, quiet reflection, meditation and from personal sharing and listening.
Healing Circles will be facilitated by congregants, Rabbi Sandy Rubenstein, Marla Zippin and Susanna Isaacson

(Adapted from A Leader's Guide to Services and Prayers of Healing, A Resource from the National Center for Jewish Healing)

Spiritual Direction:
The object of Jewish Spiritual Direction is discernment - to cultivate one's ability to discern God's presence in one's life, to maintain an awareness of the interconnectedness of all things, to explore ways to be open to the Blessed Holy One in challenging, difficult, and joyful moments. The sessions -- facilitated by Larry Goldsmith and Susana Isaacson -- are structured in a specific way where there are no judgments and no advice-giving -- only speaking from our experience and our desires to find ways to put words to our feelings that often have no room in our day to day existence or even in shul. There is nothing directive in spiritual direction.

The Mikvah Experience:
The mikvah is for not just for women or for conversions. Take a field trip to the Community Mikvah at Adas Israel and review the ways the mikvah is used for religious events as well as celebrate life transitions, and tour the Mikvah facilities. Open to people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations.

Please check the Adat Shalom website, listserve and MaChadash for specific dates and times for all program activities.